A political tsunami is building in the South Pacific over the growing presence of Chinese fishing boats.

 

More than 1300 heavily subsidised Chinese boats are now licensed in the region with plans for a further 300 this year.

 

Fishing with long-lines, many are targeting albacore tuna with some set to take over the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the Cook Islands and Samoa.

 

"I call it marine genocide, something needs to be done about it soon," Samoa fish exporter and expatriate New Zealander John Luff said. 

 

Alarm over the expanded Chinese fleet was part of the logic for New Zealand appointing former Labour MP Shane Jones as an ambassador to the region, but Pacific countries appear to be indifferent to Wellington's warnings.

 

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